Pre-Lesson: Who Were the Voyageurs?
Students will be introduced to the voyageurs by reading and watching supporting materials provided, such as books and a film.
Lesson 1: The Life of a Voyageur
Students will learn about the life of the voyageur by listening to a “real-life” voyageur tell a story of his daily activity.
Lesson 2: Could You Be a Voyageur?
Students will learn the qualities desired in a voyageur by splitting into rival fur trade companies and competing for a new trading expedition. The fur company with the superior voyageurs wins.
Lesson 3: Tools of the Trade
Students will examine items that were traded between the voyageurs and Ojibwe Indians and speculate as to what they were used for.
Lesson 4: Who Were the Ojibwe Indians?
Students will learn about the Ojibwe by examining the items they received by trading with the voyageurs and then determining what these items were used for.
Lesson 5: Waterways as Roads
Students will learn mapping skills by creating their own map of the route of the voyageurs through reading other maps and combining their different features.
Lesson 6: Communication and Merging of a Culture
Students will learn about cultural differences by comparing and contrasting the voyageurs, Ojibwe, and modern day teenagers. They will also discuss how the Ojibwe and voyageur cultures merged over the course of the fur trade era.
Lesson 7: Why People Trade
Students will participate in a game of trading to learn that scarce things hold more value and some things are worth more to one culture than another.
Post-Lesson: The Importance of the Voyageurs
Through discussion and critical thinking, students will recognize the role the voyageurs played in shaping history.
Did You Know?
Remnants of mining activity, like the one you see here, can still be seen on Little American Island.